Valentine’s Day Shararaten(Shenanigans)

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day, mutineers. Hope you lovely folks got all the flowers, chocolates and cards you deserve. I was doing a little post-celebratory research tonight on Valentine’s Day and came across a couple of interesting facts I thought you folks might like to learn a la our good friend, Wikipedia. For instance, did you know that American men spend twice as much money on Valentine’s Day than women? And that in Paris, there was a ‘High Court of Love’ established on Valentine’s Day in 1400 that dealt with crimes against women? And that the judges for that court were picked by women, based on their love poetry? Oh yeah, and finally did you know that in India, Hindu fundamentalists highly discourage the celebration of Valentine’s Day? Of course you do, you read SM. We’ve covered that in the past. Not to worry, Shiv Sena continued its anti-Valentine’s Day diatribes this year, although they were a little distracted. So many grievances, so little time… what’s a violent protestor to do nowadays? It’s gotten so there’s too many effigies to burn.

With most of their aggressive workers identified and picked up by the police ahead of the release of My Name Is Khan, Shiv Sena members have admitted that their annual Valentine Day protests will likely be low-key, if they happen at all.

Every year, Sainiks denounce the concept of Valentine’s Day and warn couples against celebrating it, but this year, they say, the agitation against Shah Rukh Khan and his movie are of more immediate importance. [Link.]

Perhaps they’ve turned their sights to virtual protests? Alongside the other factoids on Wikipieda, I came across this interesting new poster, which was uploaded on Wikipedia’s ‘Valentine’s Day’ this past Saturday. I thought SM readers would find it as amusing as I did.Antival.png

Beware of Valentine’s Day, huh? SMH. That’s web-lingo for ‘shaking my head.’ So ‘Valentine’s Day’ which is all part of ‘Western culture’ leads to ‘external attraction,’ which leads to ‘unethical conduct,’ which leads to ‘A Moment’s Happiness,’ which leads to ‘Immoral Behavior,’ which leads to ‘Destruction?’ I’m pretty sure I saw the same posters in the Sunday school class at the Mennonite church I attended as a nine-year old. Oh, the common threads that bind us.

This ‘scientific’ information is good to know, thanks HJS. God forbid children should exchange sweets. What if they haz the sex? Or the inter-religious marriages? Tsk, tsk. What is this world coming to?

Related Posts: The state of the union, Hindus and Muslims Find Common Ground, Kamdev’s Little Helpers, Don’t be Loose

110 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day Shararaten(Shenanigans)

  1. Instead of protesting Valentine’s Day, the brave Shiv Sena could actually defend Mumbai from terrorists. When Mumbai was held hostage by those terrorist goons, the manly thugs gallantly ran away. Protesting South Indian Vegetarians is par the course for these thugs but scary terrorists have them running for the hills.

  2. “When SM feels free to ridicule Hindu fundamentalists this way, but would never do so to equally regressive conduct by Muslims (for example, burqa), it makes me feel like my people are treated as if they’re on the short-bus. Which many of course are, but I’m a big girl and so are a lot of the rest of us.”

    AnnoyedDesiMuslim, the thing is… the Hindu Fundies kind of make themselves into a joke with posters like this.. it is very easy to mock. I haven’t seen any similarly so-bad-its-kinda-funny posters from Muslim fundies…

  3. AnnoyedDesiMuslim, the thing is… the Hindu Fundies kind of make themselves into a joke with posters like this.. it is very easy to mock. I haven’t seen any similarly so-bad-its-kinda-funny posters from Muslim fundies…

    I agree. Hindu Fundies are impotent. Muslim Fundies are…well

  4. While the one wants move towards the west, the other wants to hold back since it cannot have access to all these.

    LOL. you dotn step out of the cocoon do ye. step over the class divide. women can be very forward in the real india outside the cities. but you got to shed all appurtenances that characterize a lifestyle or a profession and be elemental. all this predates valentines day and erica jong btw.

  5. AnnoyedDesiMuslim, the thing is… the Hindu Fundies kind of make themselves into a joke with posters like this.. it is very easy to mock. I haven’t seen any similarly so-bad-its-kinda-funny posters from Muslim fundies…

    Well if low hanging fruit is what you’re after, the internet is filled with them.

    For instance, have you been introduced to Rage Boy?: http://images.google.com/images?q=%22rage+boy%22&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=D3R7S9XjCYO8lAfWwYywBQ&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CBQQsAQwAA

    Or his British cousin, “DEATH TO ALL (zionist) JUICE!” guy?: http://z.about.com/d/politicalhumor/1/0/C/u/2/death-juice.jpg

    Of course there’s always the less cheerful, but more disturbing “I can’t believe it’s not photoshopped” brigade: http://www.snopes.com/photos/politics/muslimprotest.asp

  6. “it’s especially ironic since vada pav, the de facto street food of bombay, has the word pao which itself was borrowed by marathi from portuguese. and of course, pav is the bread in pav bhaji, another iconic food item in bombay.”

    Nobody said their arguments made SENSE… ;)

    I have a quick point here. I am seeing a few people using words like modern and western here. Also I saw some people commenting that this is a conflict between the two Indians (rich&moving up vs. poor). Just to de-simplify, many well-educated people in India resist the idea of modern=western but also do not follow this whole Shiv Sena line as well. Not all well-educated, rich, or middle class people are dying to be western or define modern as western at all. I know I talk about J.N.U. a lot, but if you take a visit to that campus sometime, you will see all sorts of interesting things happening. For one, they are a highly politically active campus and you will see all these hand-painted posters depicting various mindsets, including the resistant to the idea of modern=western. Also, though most of the students are getting their graduate degrees and yearning to be a part of modern India, this does not necessarily translate into adopting complete western fashion or espousing western holidays. Sure people wear jeans and t-shirts, but you (or I) could feel just as comfortable wearing a kurta or salwar suit on campus as well. I think more people there wished me a Merry Christmas than did here in the U.S. :P

    I think the divide is more between the people who will be good consumers (and hence believe that to be modern they need Nikes and Pepe Jeans and a Ford) and people who actually want to think about what is what. It’s pretty much the same as everywhere else in the world. The only difference is that when companies reach a saturation level in some places, they need to find new markets to keep expanding and making profit. Hence targeting of places like India. I also think that if Valentine’s Day is purely a hallmark holiday, it’s pretty silly. But I don’t think it will result in “destruction” ;) either.

  7. actually no. people voted with their wallets and their free time and made the ss eat crow on this one.

    That was hardly the game. They managed to add a million members to meet their recruitment target because of this protest when the Marathi manoos stuff was not working. Of course they still have to promote some young people in their 20s and 30s to wean away the MNS voters.

  8. While the one wants move towards the west, the other wants to hold back since it cannot have access to all these

    will the real “other” please stand up. IMO you have it other way round. the poor want nothing more than to join the westernizing elite. It is the schizophrenic elite which is behind it.

    bal thackery should have changed his last name, when they changed Bombay to mumbai.

    If say 8 people are poor & don’t have enough to eat will they be happy if they see 2 people spending on cake/champagne?

    will the poor be happier if they were eating samosa & laddoos. vulgur display of wealth has long been a south asian tradition.

    poor poor ppl can’t afford to eat, so they decided to make a webpage/flyer to educate other poor people about dangers of love/cake/champagne/west/

  9. Instead of protesting Valentine’s Day, the brave Shiv Sena could actually defend Mumbai from terrorists. When Mumbai was held hostage by those terrorist goons, the manly thugs gallantly ran away.

    You mean that instead of partying like the crown prince, it’s not enough that the Shiv Sena was on the scene?

  10. huh? SMH. That’s web-lingo for ‘shaking my head.’ So ‘Valentine’s Day’ which is all part of ‘Western culture’ leads to ‘external attraction,’

    and this is why it’s such an effective method of hegemonizing. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled…. was convincing the world he didn’t exist.

    The greatest trick the west ever pulled… convincing the world they aren’t trying to take you over. Before you know it, we’re all speaking english, wearing western clothing, practicing western traditions. If you’re happy doing that, more power to you, but make no mistake about what it is that’s happening.

  11. I think SS antics prevent the normal course in celebrating Valentine’s – that it progression to Anti-Valentine parties.

  12. You mean that instead of partying like the crown prince, it’s not enough that the Shiv Sena was on the scene?

    I am not defending Rahul Gandhi who is a nattering nabob of negativity who is where he is at because of his family name. O boo hoo hoo, one member of the beloved Shiv Sena is at the scene. That will compensate for the Shiv Sena’s general cowardice. It is not like the terrorist cannot be tackled if one had a bit of courage and some brains. The Shiv Sena is a useless brigade of girly men.

  13. “The greatest trick the west ever pulled… convincing the world they aren’t trying to take you over. Before you know it, we’re all speaking english, wearing western clothing, practicing western traditions. If you’re happy doing that, more power to you, but make no mistake about what it is that’s happening.”

    Hey man, it’s your choice. As someone who grew up in the west, I don’t really think many things about this culture are great or should be something to spread (i.e. rampant consumerism) but when I go to India I don’t see people getting it shoved down their throats. If you are talking about the “greatest trick the west ever pulled” I am not sure who you are talking about… I would guess it is more like Multi National Corporations with lots of advertising. I don’t think any of us who grew up in the west, on the other hand, are scheming to go and destroy India with our supposedly “wonderful” western ways.

    The people who think it is “cool” and will make them “modern” are doing it of their own accord. If you are so worried, you could try and open up discussion with people on the topic in a non-crazy way. In the end it doesn’t matter IF someone chooses to celebrate valentine’s day or wear jeans or listen to western music, it matters WHY. And if someone thinks it will make them “Modern” or use it to show off their social rank or privilege, then it’s pretty silly. If they do it because they just like something (like, jeans are so much warmer and more comfy to wear in winter than thin cotton salwar pants [it's true!]) then what’s the big deal? It’s all about critical thinking and being aware of why you want something.

  14. “The greatest trick the west ever pulled… convincing the world they aren’t trying to take you over. Before you know it, we’re all speaking english, wearing western clothing, practicing western traditions. If you’re happy doing that, more power to you, but make no mistake about what it is that’s happening.”

    Yes, India has not heard of love before Valentine’s Day. Layla-Majnun, Salim-Anarkali, they are bunch of illusions.

  15. you are civilized and hence you dont get it :) power flows from teh barrel of a gun or something like that :) violence works far better than verballing someone regardless of cultures. Verballing works only when violence is off the drawing board so to speak. Try having a verbal argument with a bikie and it will quickly degenerate into violence.

    melbourne – I was being facetious. Clearly, violence has an effect in a society like India (for various reasons). But it’s scary that it has become a common occurrence to not only be backed by government officials, but also to be executed by them as well (e.g. the physical attack on Abu Azmi in the legislature).

    The greatest trick the west ever pulled… convincing the world they aren’t trying to take you over. Before you know it, we’re all speaking english, wearing western clothing, practicing western traditions. If you’re happy doing that, more power to you, but make no mistake about what it is that’s happening.

    I think it’s a bit insulting to tell people that they should abandon their free thought and will for the sake of appearing not to have been brainwashed by the west. The fact is, the world is becoming more globalised, which includes a trade both ways (although not necessarily in equal volume). Yet, despite this, people in India are still very, well, Indian, and I think groups like the Shiv Sena and MNS are, to some extent, being whiny because Indian society is not shaping up the way they want it to. Btw, may I ask – why are you on this blog, reading and responding in English? Are you ‘happy doing that’?

  16. O boo hoo hoo, one member of the beloved Shiv Sena is at the scene. That will compensate for the Shiv Sena’s general cowardice. It is not like the terrorist cannot be tackled if one had a bit of courage and some brains

    It’s obvious you haven’t read the article. But why don’t you educate us on how to use “a bit of courage and some brains” against a group of well armed men? It will save some lives, I’m sure.

  17. how to use “a bit of courage and some brains” against a group of well armed men?

    you are right. “courage” and no brains is best used against the unarmed as the ss demonstrates all the time.

  18. It’s obvious you haven’t read the article. But why don’t you educate us on how to use “a bit of courage and some brains” against a group of well armed men? It will save some lives, I’m sure.

    Of course I have read it. Why don’t you educate your Shiv Saniks that chasing a bunch of South Indians from Mumbai is the height of stupidity? Perhaps that might make them intelligent.

  19. I think it’s a bit insulting to tell people that they should abandon their free thought and will for the sake of appearing not to have been brainwashed by the west. The fact is, the world is becoming more globalised, which includes a trade both ways (although not necessarily in equal volume).

    That’s not what Im saying. Im going to go out on a limb and suggest that you might be in the legal profession. Someone that skilled at misdirection could only be someone with that form of training. Normally I dont get into that kind of personal commentary, but it was just that apparent.

    At least you weren’t completely disingenuous in your response though, and admitted the trade is not in equal volume. I’m all for free thought and choices, however let us be completely transparent about what those choices are and what history pre-existed those choices. The west and America in particular has always been viewed as “cool” and “modern” – read. said’s orientalism.

    The point of hegemony is that you feel as if you’re making “a free choice” when in fact you’re not. Is it not equally insulting to a population to convince them they are making a free choice, when in fact actually aren’t?

    If the knee-jerk response to criticism of Valentine’s day in India, is “ugh, head shake, why are you whining..etc etc..”

    To your point about English, and this blog. Sometimes hegemony has existed for so long, it makes more sense to “go along” with it. Sometimes the best way to make to disrupt the “big beast” is to enter the belly of the beast and make it grumble from the inside.

    But, valentines day is a relatively new introduction, and we’re at a point where (if we’re being honest) we can recognize it as another attempt to engage in “soft-marketing” of an external culture. Like the old adage, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice…

    Does it justify violence? No. Does it Justify anger and wrath? no.

    What really needs to happen is an equal, subliminal, “soft-marketing” of our own tradition, but coating it in a “cool wrapper” and convince our own that they’re being ‘cool’ when all they’re doing is practicing their own culture anyway.

    It’s called changing the game, not the rules:

    And anyone that suggest valentines day is some how an expression of India’s true cultural expression of love or something like that.. well I find that just silly.

    As a side note, I actually love Valentines day, I am a man, and buy women flowers and gifts all the time, on Feb 15th, or after. when the gifts are 50% off, some recipients are tuned enough to register that fact and appreciate it.

    In fact, I suggest everyone who wants to oppose it, to practice Valentines day to their fullest.. on Feb 15th. Does that make you laugh? Does that make you shake your head?

    Good. It means you don’t see it as a viable threat.. and that’s exactly what makes it a viable threat.

  20. Someone that skilled at misdirection could only be someone with that form of training. Normally I dont get into that kind of personal commentary, but it was just that apparent.

    ad hominem fallacy.

  21. i agree with shilip. down with the west! up with the east! throw away your cars and the western invented internal combustion engine. may the bullock carts and rickshawallahs live again! stop watching hollywood movies. avoid reading english books. the cultural imperialism starts there. zee tv and eenadu for all!

  22. Why don’t you educate your Shiv Saniks that chasing a bunch of South Indians from Mumbai is the height of stupidity?

    Gee, so there’s no solution but for gratuitous repartee? And they aren’t my Shiv Sainiks just as the crown prince isn’t your nabob :-)

  23. shilip – i don’t even know where to begin to respond to your multi-faceted post. all i will say that it is apparent that you,too, are playing within the rules of the game, not changing the game itself. my laughing or not at your suggestions does not make it a viable threat, because i don’t care much for valentine’s day – i don’t celebrate it on the 14th, nor would i on the 15th, and it really has no effect on me when you or anybody else choose to celebrate. but to the point of this post, i think the shiv sena loses a little bit of ground when they are so vehemently (andviolently) opposed to valentine’s day – in their precious mumbai, ganesh chaturthi is still being celebrated, as is eid, deepavali, ramzan etc, and with far more gusto than feb 14.

    avoid reading english books. the cultural imperialism starts there. zee tv and eenadu for all!

    and english-language blogs. also, surya and ktv.

  24. In the VDay case, I believe it all comes down to the lack of avenues for parents to exercise control. Like with grinding here, it’d be better if the political parties stayed out of it and let parental groups deal with their concerns.

  25. I also think much of the posturing by the HJS/SS against VDay is rather silly because they are perpetuating the Victorian morals imposed by the colonials and carried forward by Nehru’s Congress. VDay is a good subversive way to reinstitute polygamy, polyamory and do away with the minimum marriage ages for Hindus. It has potential to equalize Indian society in a big way.

  26. VDay is a good subversive way to reinstitute polygamy, polyamory and do away with the minimum marriage ages for Hindus.

    What

    the

    fuck?

  27. What the fuck?

    It’s like the gay marriage thing all over. The English speaking elite makes a huge hooh-hah about something, when most Hindus have no objections and the priests are happy to marry any two souls, man, woman, dog or frog. Think about it.

  28. It’s like the gay marriage thing all over.

    I’m a bit more shocked about the minimum marriage age and polygamy thing.

    There is a reason we put those rules in place you know? It’s not Victorian social norms so much as the propensity towards opening up routes for the abuse and exploitation of women and children.

  29. There is a reason we put those rules in place you know? It’s not Victorian social norms so much as the propensity towards opening up routes for the abuse and exploitation of women and children.

    That’s assuming one results in the other. No excuse for the state to take an illiberal approach based on such assumptions.

  30. No excuse for the state to take an illiberal approach based on such assumptions.

    Really? I can think of lots of excuses. How exactly do you reckon an 8 year old is going to be able to consent to a marriage? Does she know what she’s getting into? And how equitable do you think a marriage is going to be if one man is hitched to 3 women? It’s could be only a coincidence that polygamous societies tend to have really low female literacy, or it could be that societies that conceive of marriages as less than equal partnerships tend not to bother investing much in the less-equal partner.

    Also, “illiberal?” I’m not sure that means what you think it does. Even if the state doesn’t bother making laws about certain behaviors, that doesn’t mean the society and the culture shouldn’t have anything to say about it. For example, while being a lecherous adulterer is perfectly legal in the USA, it’s also going to make you a social pariah. And that’s the way it should be.

  31. I have a quick point here. I am seeing a few people using words like modern and western here. Also I saw some people commenting that this is a conflict between the two Indians (rich&moving up vs. poor). Just to de-simplify, many well-educated people in India resist the idea of modern=western but also do not follow this whole Shiv Sena line as well. Not all well-educated, rich, or middle class people are dying to be western or define modern as western at all. I know I talk about J.N.U. a lot, but if you take a visit to that campus sometime, you will see all sorts of interesting things happening. For one, they are a highly politically active campus and you will see all these hand-painted posters depicting various mindsets, including the resistant to the idea of modern=western. Also, though most of the students are getting their graduate degrees and yearning to be a part of modern India, this does not necessarily translate into adopting complete western fashion or espousing western holidays. Sure people wear jeans and t-shirts, but you (or I) could feel just as comfortable wearing a kurta or salwar suit on campus as well. I think more people there wished me a Merry Christmas than did here in the U.S. :P

    Thanks for the lesson, white girl. who seemingly only spent time among the upper crust in Delhi. And obviously got special treatment.

  32. not a bad assumption…

    Even then, assuming some A’s commit bad thing B when they are allowed to do C, is that reason enough for keeping all A’s away from C?

  33. grinding?

    I’m sure we are all familiar–to various degrees–with the dry humping that passes for dancing in some places.

  34. Even then, assuming some A’s commit bad thing B when they are allowed to do C, is that reason enough for keeping all A’s away from C?

    Yes. Sometimes.

  35. Yes. Sometimes.

    But how do you choose? And what bully (state, religion, party) gets to choose?

    For instance, should heterosexual marriage be banned or frowned upon because some men beat their wives, many people divorce each other and some children are neglected?

  36. But how do you choose? And what bully (state, religion, party) gets to choose?

    Do we need to acquaint you with the concept of a “government,” the various kinds out there, how they work, the scope of their work, and from whence they draw their legitimacy across various cultures and societies or are you one of those Ayn Rand reading types who doesn’t believe in collective action or communities?

  37. But how do you choose? And what bully (state, religion, party) gets to choose? For instance, should heterosexual marriage be banned or frowned upon because some men beat their wives, many people divorce each other and some children are neglected?

    but laws are not so basic, are they? for the examples that you gave, marriage itself would not be prevented, but the bad acts that may occur within a marriage (rape,physical violence etc.) would be banned, and in a nuanced way using relatively narrow definitions. yes, there are some things that are broader and less nuanced, like e.g. setting a marriageable age, or statutory rape, which crimes are defined more narrowly. in those cases, i think, age is a hugely differentiating factor – children do not yet have the experience, or even capability, to grasp the full extent and consequences of their actions – that’s why statutory rape is against the law even (in e.g. the US) when the minor supposedly gives consent – the rationale underlying the rule is that minors are not yet at the age where they can give consent in the true meaning of the word (the same rules applies for rape at any age when drugs, alcohol etc come into play). that’s why these laws are in place – because relations between minors and majors are, inherently, not equal and these laws do a good job of leveling the field by protecting the vulnerable groups.

    as to who defines laws – in most countries, it is a process, and usually fashioned after lengthy discussions within the legislature, and hopefully a judiciary that will scrutinize such laws (as in the delhi high court ruling in defense of homosexual sexual acts). the shiv sena may be able to wreak havoc and cause harm, but they are not defining or creating the law on their own, by any means.

  38. Dear Blah,

    I think we were talking about the “upper crust” in terms of who is embracing the west as modern, no?

    And you are wrong actually. Many people at JNU are middle class and grew up in small cities. Most of them have scholarships. JNU is a government school, and the rates are very low, if you can get in. DU might be a different story.

    Since I am a white girl, it seems like the conversaton always comes back to my credentials. So, I guess I can give you a partial resume (though I’m sure this won’t convince you of anything, since I am a white girl, hence I cannot possible fathom anything beyond the white culture I was raised in.)

    I spent 2.5 months in a rural village called Dobhi in Gaya District Bihar teaching and living with teenage girls who were all the first in their families to be literate. I also helped at a local homeopathic clinic serving the poor for 2 rupees a pop seeing horrific and completely preventable illnesses, if only they had the money and access to care. I don’t think uppercrust people walk for 10 hours to reach a clinic with a giant infested wound on their ankle or TB. Last time I checked.

    I spent 10 months volunteering and working with former street children in Jaipur. I interviewed them and the staff members about their views on education and child labor. I wrote a masters paper on that topic, if you would like to read it, I can send it to you.

    I volunteered at a home for street children briefly in Mumbai.

    I also taught English to the middle/upper class adult clients in Delhi, which gives a different perspective as well.

    But, please don’t fear, I don’t only want to help the “brown” children. I have also worked with autistic children, worked in public schools in Boston, volunteered at an after-school program and a program to teach children from the city snow boarding. And I’m studying to be a nurse. So don’t you worry. I am not trying to spread my amazing western ideals to the brown people. Maybe I should just write a blog post and then every time someone attacks me/accuses me/insists I don’t/can’t know anything since I am white, I can just link you to my post. Then I don’t have to spend all my time rehashing this theme over and over. Because, Yawn. It’s tiring.

  39. Oh and yes I did get special treatment from my friends in India. They go out of their way to wish me happy holidays on the holidays from my culture. I also give them special treatment. I wish them on their holidays. Sometimes, I even celebrate with them, even though they are not ‘western holidays.’ Sometimes, they also celebrate holidays with me too. I think there is a very good term for this special treatment– it’s called ‘friendship’.

  40. Sometimes, I even celebrate with them, even though they are not ‘western holidays.’ Sometimes, they also celebrate holidays with me too. I think there is a very good term for this special treatment

    :-)

  41. ” don’t even know where to begin to respond to your multi-faceted post. all i will say that it is apparent that you,too, are playing within the rules of the game, not changing the game itself. my laughing or not at your suggestions does not make it a viable threat, because i don’t care much for valentine’s day – i don’t celebrate it on the 14th, nor would i on the 15th, and it really has no effect on me when you or anybody else choose to celebrate. but to the point of this post, i think the shiv sena loses a little bit of ground when they are so vehemently (andviolently) opposed to valentine’s day – in their precious mumbai, ganesh chaturthi is still being celebrated, as is eid, deepavali, ramzan etc, and with far more gusto than feb 14.”

    Just pick one of the facets and respond to them.

    And that was exactly my point, that there are some cases where one must play within the rules of the game (not trying to change them) yet play them so well that you get into a position where you can change the game itself.

    For example, Ray Charles, great musician, played the game by their rules, then when he was powerful enough, decided on not playing in the Jim Crowe South, at great peril to his career – but now one can say (in part anyway) the jim crow south reversed its laws due to rejection by people as powerful as ray. he changed the game, not the rules.

    I agree with you completely, the Shiv sena and all these people are fighting an uphill battle if they keep coming out in strong opposition to things like Valentines day, it’s just too susceptible to the criticism of “ohhh why make such a big deal.. its so harmless” They must find a way to “fight back” within that rule set. if it were me, I’d use humor and sarcasm.

    “in their precious mumbai, ganesh chaturthi is still being celebrated, as is eid, deepavali, ramzan etc, and with far more gusto than feb 14.”

    yes. Now. but I think they fear for 50 years from now, when kids will say “ganesh chatu-what?” to which some may respond “Huh? all because of valentines day!?!” and it’s exactly that attitude that’s going to let it happen.

    Western hegemony is a slow poison.

    As for all the idiotic responses like “lets not use combustible engines!” or whatever, those have functional, technical purposes. Show me a study that says couples that celebrate valentine’s day have a higher chance of success and happiness, then I’ll concede a parallel.

    I for one, hope India doesn’t turn into a bunch of duane reades that look like an explosion of pink between Jan15th-Feb13th

  42. I submit that if you look at the record – especially in India – most of these laws were adopted as part of a “civilizing” mission. But the civilization/religion/moral code they were based on is inherently illiberal and is thus under constant attack from forces rediscovering individual freedom everywhere.

    It is the schizophrenic elite which is behind it.

    Yes, the schizophrenia exists, but see above for why it is not in the way you expect it to be.

    i think, age is a hugely differentiating factor – children do not yet have the experience, or even capability, to grasp the full extent and consequences of their actions – that’s why statutory rape is against the law even (in e.g. the US) when the minor supposedly gives consent

    The US is rather poor example because the civilizing influence has caused it to turn illiberal in these matters. Other communities that take a different approach in these matters – such as India (under Muslim personal law, or don’t ask, don’t tell in rural areas) – are doing just fine by taking an approach that punishes bad behaviour while being more liberal.

    as to who defines laws – in most countries, it is a process, and usually fashioned after lengthy discussions within the legislature, and hopefully a judiciary that will scrutinize such laws

    In other words, there are Shiv Senas all over the place to pick up the wrong end of the stick .

  43. “Other communities that take a different approach in these matters – such as India (under Muslim personal law, or don’t ask, don’t tell in rural areas) – are doing just fine by taking an approach that punishes bad behaviour while being more liberal.”

    Can you clarify that statement AJ, I don’t really understand what you intend to say here…